"A poem I wrote to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion. In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it's core Jesus' gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered. This poem highlights my journey to discover this truth. Religion either ends in pride or despair. Pride because you make a list and can do it and act better than everyone, or despair because you can't do your own list of rules and feel "not good enough" for God. With Jesus though you have humble confident joy because He represents you, you don't represent yourself and His sacrifice is perfect putting us in perfect standing with God!"
The main point of the message was to share Jesus. But, that together as a church we can not only share with those outside of church, but those we share worship with in church. Of course this is when I am thinking, "Ok God, I gottcha... I will be here :) These were the notes we had on who to share Jesus. I think this will be my resolution revised:
- regularly attend Sunday celebrations (thats what we call services)
- invite others to join you at Heartsong/ church (I do this)√
- belong to a group (need to find a small group)
- learning and practicing the Jesus Centered Life (I feel I do this already)√
- reading he Bible (need to work on this one)
- praying √
- sharing the message when prompted
Bottom Line - Jesus is all anyone ever really needs. So, I plan on working on this in 2012 and know I will reap many benefits from it.
I actually had an opportunity to share Jesus with one of my students this week. Now I know I am not supposed to talk church at school, but she was going to a big dr. appointment to see if she would have to have surgery again in her ear (hole in the eardrum). She has had many other surgeries from other medical issues as a young child. I got an email from mom, that my student was a little scared of the outcome. So, I pulled her aside and told her that I was and had prayed for her, asking God to heal her ear without having to have surgery. She said thanks and went off to her appointment.
The next morning, she came in and said guess what? She said it had healed even with fluid still in her ear. I told her that prayer helps. Then she shared with me that one of her sister's friends had fallen earlier in the week at gymnastics and was paralyzed from the waist down. She said that the girl shared with her that everything happens for a reason and that God would use her in some other way if she could never walk again. (Cue tears... ) She said that she make a picture with everything happens for a reason, to remind her that there are people with worse things that happen, and that she would be thankful for what she has even if it isn't what she wants. Oh, if we all could have the conviction of children. But at the same time, how awesome that a 4th grader and at 7th grader have faith that big at such a young age.
I can honestly say that in 4th grade and even 7th grade. I went to church, had been confirmed and believed, but don't think I truly understood Jesus' sacrifice. But, at that moment with my student, I told her (without going into detail) that God doesn't want us to hurt, but that sometimes his plan works itself out in a way we don't understand as human beings. That I too have had my share of times when I thought this couldn't be the kind of plan God would want me to go through. But, then I realize that my mountains are mole hills compared to many others. She said you are so right. But no matter what God is there for us and will help us through it. And she gave me the tightest hug. It made my day. And I bet it made His too.